Saturday, November 20, 2010

Cranberry Sauce Take Two

My original posting on cranberry sauce is here, made the traditional way but with turbinado sugar instead of white sugar.  This year, I thought I'd try something a bit different.  Less sweetener, so it's more tangy, let's the cranberries really shine.  The secret ingredient?  Unfiltered apple cider.  That my son opened this morning.  Oops.

Apple Cider Cranberry Sauce--

1 bag cranberries, washed and picked over
1 1/3 c. unfilitered apple cider
1/3 c. agave nectar
1 tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. orange zest

In a large sauce pan (cranberries will pop and splatter), bring the apple cider and cranberries to a low boil.  Add agave and maple syrup.  Simmer, stirring ocassionally, for another ten minutes or until cranberries pop! (and splatter) and sauce begins to thicken.  Add orange zest.  Pour into a heat safe dish and cool completely.  Refrigerate until serving. 

How to Roast a Pumpkin--the Simple Way

I love home made pumpkin pies, muffins, breads, you  name it!  Especially with fresh pumpkin puree.  I already mentioned my favorite varieties to grow in an earlier post.  I've usually treated it like any other winter squash, but found a way to roast a pumpkin WHOLE, doing NOTHING--no prep--nothing, zilch, nada.  The Spunky Coconut tells how you just plop the pumpkin into the oven, bake, let it cool and voile!  Roast pumpkin!  After it cools, just peel the skin off (my kids would have loved doing this part), take off the stem and scrape out the seeds.  HOORAY!  It worked so beautifully this morning.  So here ya go: 

The Spunky Coconut's How to Roast a Pumpkin

Maple-Glazed Sweet Potatoes

I mentioned I love sweet potatoes, right?  Right now, I am cooking Thanksgiving dinner.  We have a church Thanksgiving dinner party tonight that the kids are really excited about.  I've got the turkey and stuffing in the oven, the crust for the pumpkin pie done, the pumpkin roasted, and got a hankering for some sweet potatoes with maple syrup and pecans.  And found THIS.  It looked so good!  So it's all ready to go in the oven when the stuffing's turn is over. 
I reduced the balsamic vinegar to 1 1/2 tsp. and will just add the pecans (skipping the roasting step because I'm lazy) about halfway through. 

ETA:  These are yummy!  Totally a keeper.  And, oops, I did not use butter!  I subbed olive oil. 

1/2 cup pecan halves
1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

8 small (2 1/2 pounds) sweet potatoes, peeled

1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt or kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Gingered Carrots

Ginger is a warming spice.  Good for digestion, it is considered a tonic.  It is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine.  It is good in cakes, pies, stir fries and beverages alike.  I like to drink honeyed ginger water.  Coarsely chop some fresh ginger.  Pour boiling water over it in a heat safe dish and let sit.  Strain ginger and add honey.  MMM.  Ginger is also good paired with carrots. {wink} 
My husband's mother made this for her family for years.  I had never had anything like it before I married into their clan.  I should have just asked her for the recipe, but that would have required a phone call and it turned out well, so here's my version.

Gingered Carrots

  • carrots, washed and thinly sliced (crinkle cut is fun)
  • tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1tsp. ground ginger (or to taste)
  • 2 tsp. honey (or to taste)
In a skillet (one that has a lid), saute carrots in the olive oil for a minute or so, stirring occasionally.  Add water and cook another 5-7 minutes, or until tender crisp.  Add ginger and honey.  Serve immediately.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Gluten Free/ Dairy Free Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin pie is fall at it's best.  I LOVE pumpkin!  And I LOVE all the great varieties that grow so easily in the garden.  This year, I grew a baby instead of getting in my pumpkins and winter squash, but my favorite varieties for the garden and for pies are Winter Luxury Pie, Musquee de Provence, and Queensland Blue.  Look them up.  In this amazing book.  Seriously, they are beautiful!!!  So pretty, it's tough to cut them up instead of leaving them on my table and around the house to stumble glow over.
This pie is NOT egg free; I'm still working on that...but it is gluten free/ dairy free.
The crust I used last year is in Jennifer Katzinger's Flying Apron's Gluten-Free & Vegan Baking Book.
I'm also wanting to try Elana's from Elana's pantry...note, if I used hers, I would bake the crust first as she directs.  ETA:  I tried Elana's crust with this recipe, and while it is an amazing crust, it can't take the long baking time of this pie.  I tried it, baking the crust first and it burned during baking the pie--not just the edges, but the entire crust.  So I did another, this time not baking before hand and it burned as well.  However, this crust would be amazing with a coconut cream pie!

Pumpkin Pie

Flying Apron's Standard Crust:
1 1/2 c. brown rice flour
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 c. plus 3 tbsp. coconut oil
3 tbsp. agave syrup
1-2 tbsp. cold water

Combine brown rice flour and sea salt in a large bowl.  In the bowl of a standing mixer (I did this portion by hand.), mix the coconut oil until softened, about 1 minute.With mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture slowly until oncorporated.  Add the agave syrup and water and mix until a soft dough has formed, about 5 minutes.  If the dough is dry, add additional water 1 tbsp at a time until the dough is smooth.

Dust your work surface and hands liberally with brown rice flour.  (a 12- by 18-inch cutting board or piece of cardboard covered in parchment works well.)  Place dough on your surface and sprinkle the top with more brown rice flour.  Roll the dough into an 11-inch disc.

Place your pie plate on top of the rolled-out dough.  With one hand under the work surface and the other on the pie plate, flip them so that the cutting board is on top.  Set the pie plate on the counter, remove the cutting board, and gently press the pie dough into the pie plate.  Any tears that occur can be fixed by gently pressing and pinching the dough back together.

Decoratively flute the edges with a fork or by pinching the edges with your thumb and fore finger.

2 eggs
2 c. cooked pumpkin (fresh is best)
1 c. whole fat coconut milk (I like Thai Kitchen)
1/2 c. honey or agave nectar
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice*

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Place ingredients in the blender.  Blend just until filling is smooth.   Pour into uncooked crust.  Use foil around edges to protect from burning.  Bake for 15 minutes and then turn oven down to 350 degrees and continue baking for another 45 minutes to an hour; until mixture is set when jiggled.  Allow to cool before serving. 

Pumpkin Pie Spice

1/4 c. cinnamon
2 tbsp. ground cloves
2 tbsp all spice
1 1/2 tbsp. ginger

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Chili Roasted Sweet Potatoes

I think sweet potatoes are my favorite fall food.  Or apples.  Or pumpkin.'s tough to choose!  This recipe is another super easy, lazy recipe.  If it isn't totally noticeable, I really like one-dish meals or meals that you prep and then throw in the oven or crock pot to forget about til it's done.  I try to do most of the work in the morning; late afternoons tend to be chaotic--everyone is getting hungry and probably tired too.  The baby (there usually is one in these-here-parts) is fussier just when I need to get dinner going and needs mama.  So this falls into that "easy prep" category for me.  I never seem to make enough of these...


sweet potatoes
cold or first pressed olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp chili powder (I sometimes change it up with cumin)
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Wash and cut sweet potatoes into wedges.  Toss with olive oil.  (Please do this in a bowl, otherwise you may have a bit of a mess on your hands, lol.)  Toss again with sea salt, chili powder,  and garlic powder.  Bake at 400 degrees for 25-35 minutes.   

Lemon Thyme Roasted Winter Vegetables

I love love when the weather finally {really, truly} begins to cool off.  And we are there!  YAY!  We actually pulled out the portable heater this morning.  And wore socks to bed.  So it's time for lots of winter squash, sweet potatoes and yams, carrots, parsnips, potatoes, and onions.  These are all cozy winter (or cooler weather) favorites around here.  My favorite way to prepare these is to roast them.  (Mostly because I'm lazy).  I love thyme.  It goes so well with lemon.  Or cumin.  I switch out the lemon with cumin for a change now and then...

Lemon Thyme Roasted Winter Veggies

{I have to add:  This is my kind of recipe as well; you just choose which veggies you want, and how many, and go from there!}

Your choice:
sweet potatoes
acorn squash
butternut squash
pie pumpkin
red or sweet onions
cold pressed olive oil
juice of half lemon
1 tsp thyme or cumin
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Wash and cut veggies into roughly the same sized portions, about 4" chunks.  Place in a large baking dish.  Toss in some olive oil.  Sprinkle the thyme, sea salt and pepper over the veggies and mix it around a bit.  Squeeze half a lemon over the veggies.  Add the rest of the lemon to some water to go with the meal, if you like (or double recipe for left overs for lunch tomorrow!).  Cover and bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.  Take covering off and bake another 20-30 minutes, checking so as to not over bake. 
I add skinless chicken thighs into the mix for a one dish meal on ocassion.  I have also roasted a chook at the same time, tho it may need a bit longer.  Just use the remaining lemon half with some more olive oil and seasonings on it.  I think I may have dinner planned for tomorrow...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Apple Cake, Ice Cream and Apple Butter

Last week, I scored 150# of pink lady apples for 15 cents/lb!!!  YAY!  So we've been eating them like crazy...I've also been making apple crumble, apple butter, and apple sauce {really, just WHAT is the difference between the two?}.  I still plan on deyhrating some as well, but for now we're just eating them like crazy--oh, so GOOD! 
Last night was my niece and nephew's birthday party, so I made Elana's  Apple Cake from Elana's Pantry.  Yum!  I served it with coconut milk icecream and apple butter.  I didn't have almond butter on hand, so I just ground almonds in my vita brother came up to me afterwards and said, "Wow, I am amazed at your ability to make something so good out of nothing!"  Um, is that a compliment?  I'll take it! ;-)  Of course, "nothing" means gluten, dairy, and egg free.
Here are the adaptations I made:


1 apple, cored and quartered
1 c. almonds
1 tsbp. coconut oil
1/3 c. agave nectar
1 tbsp. Ener-G egg replacer plus 1/3 cup almond milk, mixed well
1 tsp. gf vanilla extract
1 tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. sea salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grind almonds with the coconut oil into an almost-nut-butter-consistancy.  Scrape the almost-almond-butter into a bowl and set aside.  Place the quartered apple to blender and pulse.  Add the almost-almond-butter, agave nectar and egg replacer and blend until smooth.  Add the spices, vanilla, and sea salt.  Mix well.  Pour in a greased 8x8" pan.  Bake for 28-30 minutes. Serve warm, a la mode, with a spoonful of apple butter on top.  (I so wish I'd gotten a pick of this--it was purty!) 

This version will not rise as much as the original from lack of real eggs.